Thing of the Day

THE NAZCA LINES, SARGASSO SEA, HAYABUSA, SUPER DISTORTION

January 9th 2011

Some new singles, some feisty new bands and another four slices just because…

Nazca Lines bandTHE NAZCA LINESThis Crippled Devil EP (Stressed Sumo) - The way we like to work it around here is to just throw things in the CD chewer without really looking at who they are or what they’re about… Now, this band are seriously good; no idea who they are, where they’re from, or anything about them - they sound like they’re from US, they’re alive with a bluster of scathing energy, with barbed suggestions of civil war and post punk flavoured hardcore electricity, they know of lies that can kill, or flies, they know of street names and flowers and that the bulls are running rampant and he’s lost all his possessions... This is good, and I really hope this band are from Seattle or Baltimore, and not Blackpool or Guildford: there is nothing English here besides the language, and that use of the Queen’s English is very American sounding.  

Let's do some reeeesearch. The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994… hang on, wrong lines. These Lines, these Nazca Lines are indeed from Seattle, for Nazca Lines is the name of this rather scathing band. There’s four on them in the band, and they’ve got three rather urgent tracks here on the single coming at us via Derby’s Stressed Sumo Records. We're talking North American post-rock/post-punk energy and urgency, a sound not a millions miles away from a blend you’ve heard many times before – Refused, At The Drive-In, Fugazi, Sicbay, Tribute To Nothing – But not just another one of those, there’s some depth here. Their musical moves and lyrical twists stand up to closer inspection, to repeated blastations out of the Organ bunker. No tunnel vision déjà vu here, no rescue in sight either. Sinking boats? Nah, nothing sinking here, everything floating and if this is an opening shot in terms of Stressed Sumo releasing Nazca Lines material over here then bring on the new album (the band’s second) and whatever else they have waiting. Damn fine first bite of a North American post-punk alt.rock three track single.   
The EP is out in the UK on Stressed Sumo on January 31st. More from:
www.myspace.com/nazcalines
www.stressedsumorecords.co.uk

Sargasso sea coverSARGASSO SEAMadonna (Vivid) – We have here a four track EP from Sargasso Sea, the music vehicle of Elisabeth Oswell. Previous to forming Sargasso Sea, Elisabeth, it seems, spent “a long time performing on the UK avant-burlesque scene, creating surreal and subversive oeuvres using dance, voice and dramatic visuals…” She has also, in the past, lent her vocals to the live incarnation of Hush Arbors.  This is a four-version EP of a seductively dark-textured song called Madonna, a mysteriously soothing, silky smooth piece of warm seductive goth-noir in a beautifully serene white cotton dress gone to bathe in the water of an immaculate queen. Dreamy, silky, slow seduction, velvet darkness, warmth wrapped to the ankles in white cotton…. Four mixes, four beautifully dreamy creamy shimmering versions and each one significantly different to each other to reveal different sets of colours with every play. Gloriously dreamy slowly unwrapping, spiritual warmth, velvet undergrounds, French pop, dark seduction, Cocteau Twins... Beautifully beguiling haunting angelic voice, dusty dreamy meanderings.. .Fine fine mixes from Andrew Lines (Current 93, Nurse With Wound) and Big Lion -  mixes that enhance, that add even more colour to the already so alive other-worldly pallet of subtly glowing hues… This is beautifully detailed, delicately constructed, this is not something to grab and judge after thirsty seconds of a MySpace visit, this is something to slowly unwrap and gently discover – discover it, bath in it, let the glowing sound slowly engulf you, put it on repeat and let it take over your day. Serene mellow beauty…
The lead version of Madonna is out as a download via Vivid Records now - http://vividrecordsuk.bandcamp.com/track/madonna
The four track EP is out via Vivid in February.
More from www.myspace.com/full-colour or www.vividrecords.com

HAYABUSAEvil Is Not That Laid Back (Midge Bitten) – Well, those vocals and that rather conservative opening to the one track we have here, along with that dangerously emo-flavoured style of delivery, kind of lull these ears towards a sense of dislike - oh no, we’ve got another one of those shallow over-slick emo rock bed-wetting My Chemical Whatever bands on our hands… Hang on though, that was a good bit just there, a clever twist here… Kind of sold themselves short with that conservative start to this almost five minute track. There’s a touch of imagination  bubbling under somewhere here, a touch of (very) modern prog. Knitting together a lot of modern flavours, yet they desperately need to put their own fingerprint on it all. Touches of Oceansize, maybe a hint of Meshuggah; they’ve certainly shoved a lot in to those four minutes and fifty one seconds of modern rock energy. Those electronic vocal effects and those clean cut undercurrents are really not to anyone’s tastes around here, neither is that vocal style ... but these Mancunians might have something in here worth exploring. This one track has us curiously sitting on the fence wonder if there’s anymore and if this band are actually any good or not…
Evil Is Not Laid Back is out on Midge Bitten on January 24th
www.myspace.com/hayabusaband

SUPER DISTORTIONResonating World (Pointy Bird) – Is this hippy nonsense resonating in a world gone orange and blue, or is it a glorious piece of 70’s retro alive with a Stylophone solo in the middle of an old-school guitar pop stomp and the flutes and the bits of ELO and a touch of didgeridoo! Preposterous or preposterously good?  
   Eight minutes of psychedelic freak-out pop rock: Jethro Tull meets a Lighting Seeds take on psychedelic Beatles. Excellent no messing ‘proper’ guitar sound that leads almost immediately to a Seventies stomp and a Tull flute or maybe a touch of some Mike Oldfield.  All good then? The psychedelic folk rock of the hurdy gurdy man comes singing songs of joy…  Steve Hillage meets Roy Wood meets some strange TV advert with a car full of sunshine, jelly beans and Dalmatian dogs are running around. Sounds like a guilty pleasure of a classic 70’s one-off single. “Pete strives to provide some contrast to current trends…” reads the press release as he sings about how maybe he should just run away and live in a wood. Actually, this is a preposterously good slice of 70’s pop rock…
Released on January 31st
www.pointybirdrecords.co.uk 

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